Google Now Manually Reviews Play Store Submissions, Approval Times Still Faster Than App Store

Google on Tuesday announced two changes to the Play Store that it hopes will result in an improved experience for both developers and users. The first is a new review process where apps submitted for approval are manually reviewed by a team of employees at Google before the software is published on the Play Store. Google claims it began manually reviewing apps several months ago, with no noticeable change in approval times during the rollout.

Google Play Store Ratings
The move to human reviewers marks a significant change for the Play Store, as the ability for developers to have apps go through a quick and automatic review process was a major differentiating factor over Apple's tedious review process for the App Store on iPhone and iPad. Nevertheless, Google says it will continue to help developers get their apps published on the Play Store within hours of submission, rather than days or weeks.

Apple has been rather controlling and inconsistent at times in regards to enforcing its App Store review guidelines over the years. Last month, for example, the iPhone maker began rejecting apps with violent screenshots for infringing upon a long-standing review guideline. Developers also face long waits with Apple, as the average approval times for apps are roughly six days for the App Store and seven days for the Mac App Store.

The second improvement is the introduction of an age-based rating system for apps and games on the Play Store, based on official rating authorities such as the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in the United States, Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) in Europe and Classification Board in Australia. Territories with no specific rating authority will display age-based, generic ratings for apps.

"Today we’re introducing a new age-based rating system for apps and games on Google Play. We know that people in different countries have different ideas about what content is appropriate for kids, teens and adults, so today’s announcement will help developers better label their apps for the right audience. Consistent with industry best practices, this change will give developers an easy way to communicate familiar and locally relevant content ratings to their users and help improve app discovery and engagement by letting people choose content that is right for them."

Google encourages developers to visit the Developer Console and fill out a content rating questionnaire to ensure that their apps remain available on the Play Store. Apps without a completed questionnaire will be listed as unrated and, starting in May, all apps and updates submitted to the Play Store will require a completed questionnaire before being published on the Play Store.

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Top Rated Comments

jabingla2810 Avatar
120 months ago
I bet Android fans all think this is a good idea now.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CrazyForApple Avatar
120 months ago
Faster does not mean better.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
120 months ago
I had to read the headline several times to get that it’s not about Google Now. Title case, I like it so much.

How is this approval process a good thing for developers though? Seems to me that Google is pulling in the reigns.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rrahimi Avatar
120 months ago
I bet Android fans all think this is a good idea now.
You could have spent the time to enlighten everyone on the drawbacks rather than taking a jab at Android fans.

Right now on the app store there are thousands of apps with no reviews. There are also many apps with 5-star paid-for reviews. It's great to get to know at the very least whether an app can do what it claims or not. It might prevent the weekly surge of "Record calls FREE" or "THEME YOUR iOS" for $0.99 that climb up to the top due to the less technically savvy falling for the flawless batch of initial reviews.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jabingla2810 Avatar
120 months ago
You could have spent the time to enlighten everyone on the drawbacks rather than taking a jab at Android fans.

Right now on the app store there are thousands of apps with no reviews. There are also many apps with 5-star paid-for reviews. It's great to get to know at the very least whether an app can do what it claims or not. It might prevent the weekly surge of "Record calls FREE" or "THEME YOUR iOS" for $0.99 that climb up to the top due to the less technically savvy falling for the flawless batch of initial reviews.

I think us geeks at Macumors understand the short falls of the system.

My post was a bit of a joke, but I do know a LOT of Android fans who have laughed at Apple's insistance to review App Store Apps before their release, and have long stated that one of Androids strengths is it's free market.

Perhaps this will eliminate illegal apps, perhaps limit piracy that has plagued Android more than it has plagued iOS. Perhaps not.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
darkslide29 Avatar
120 months ago
Per the headline, it seems that Google Now has really come a long way since its introduction. From telling me what time my bus arrives, to reviewing apps in the Play Store. :p
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)